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Opinion

If Rafa Benitez had stayed at Newcastle United we would have seen…

5 months ago
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Rafa Benitez officially ended his stay at Newcastle United at midnight on 30 June 2019.

Now 23 months later and with an ‘interesting’ spell in the Chinese Super League behind him, the Spaniard is looking for his next challenge.

For Newcastle fans, 23 months later they are still waiting for a suitable replacement for Rafa Benitez to be appointed.

If Rafa Benitez had stayed at Newcastle United we would have seen…

No £40m (Mike Ashley says £43m) signing of Joelinton.

A plan.

Work started on the new state of the art training ground that Mike Ashley promised in 2013 would be built as soon as possible (Rafa was only willing to stay on if Ashley agreed to this).

Hope.

Work started on a new professional Academy set-up, with proper funding on facilities and coaches to ensure club builds towards producing regular homegrown talent in the future (Rafa was only willing to stay on if Ashley agreed to this).

Occasional outbreaks of football.

No more of Jonjo Shelvey. Rafa having the lazy immobile midfielder’s number and having completely sidelined him, would have moved him on in summer 2019.

None of these time after time embarrassing press conferences, both before and after matches, Steve Bruce shameless in his willingness to push the Ashley agenda.

No relegation battle in 2020/21 (NUFC currently fourth bottom with four matches remaining).

No falling apart of Newcastle United’s defence, which with four games to go of 2020/21 has conceded 56 goals, only three clubs have conceded more (In Rafa’s two PL seasons NUFC had the seventh best defensive record in 2017/18 and 2018/19, conceding 47 and 48 respectively).

No dismal goal difference stat of -20 with four games remaining of 2020/21, only three clubs with a worse GD (in Rafa’s two seasons the final GD was -8 and -6).

Happiness to just survive in the top tier.

Giant flags still inside St James Park.

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